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Brad H

What are the wealthiest Boston suburbs?

I am looking to move to this area and rent a small place in an affluent suburb. I want an area with great restaurants, commuting and a suburb feel.

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Well first, I am going to assume that Hank hasn't been to Needham lately, as it has turned into a hotbed of small, excellent restaurants. I also think many folks don't realize how many places in some of the burbs are indeed rentals. Ironically I ended up in Metro West because I couldn't find anything I considered nice enough to rent in Newton or Brookline, which are far more urban suburban than suburban. After renting a very lovely 1890's farmhouse (that I would bet anyone driving by assumed I owned), I ended up buying a home when the owner sold to a builder without giving me an option to buy (GRRRRRRR). But having lived in a Boston highrise since college, I needed to make sure I liked it out here.

Anyway, I wish you defined the area a little more beyond 'wealthy" since there are many well to do burbs out here. But based on what you said I would suggest a fairly different list.

I'd look at Newton, Needham, Marina Bay in Quincy at the top of the list. For sheer affluence there is Wellelsley, Dover, Carliesle, Westwood and Belmont, but rentals are harder to find out there and the majority of them would be large houses. And personally I feel Belmont is no where near as nice as it should be for the pricing.

The 3 I choose have different selling points so I'll explain so you can see what sounds like what you are looking for. Newton has the advantage of being on the T versus the commuter rail. That runs far more frequently, significantly later and is cheaper. It is closer to Boston, although some parts of it are farther out, more suburban. It is filled with towns by section and many have some very good restaurants. It's been named the safest place to live in America twice (but bet that's gone up as they had a couple freak murders this year, but it's still VERY safe). Just be warned rentals are hard to find and are not always well maintained. As I said I coudln't find one to my liking but it's all timing and luck.

The next town over is Needham on one side (Wellesley on an other). Needham has the most commuter options, as there are 4 commuter rail stops, a bus that goes near Boston, and has several exits on the highway so it's very accessible. It is a smaller town with less stores, and it is a more suburban town, very pretty, and for it's size there are now a very good amount of very places to dine (over a dozen, not counting the pancake place, the Starbucks, the 2 Dunkin Donuts or about half dozen pizza places lol).

The most 'happening' suggestion is Marina Bay, which is on the Quincy waterfront. it's a self contained community that has many rentals, as well as condos/homes. There is a smaller town area with fewer restaurants/clubs, but everything there is lovely and generally excellent. It's also on the T. The downside is the rest of Quincy isn't that nice, so there is a stark difference. Also I am not sure I would call it a real suburban area, but it's close. It has a lot of young professionals, more nightlife than most burbs, and is a fun area.

If there is anything specific you want (such as waterfront versus pretty), modern apartment complex versus private home rentals, etc. please specify. Also I hope you will have a car for personal transportation. If not that would really limit the areas as most are easy to commute to Boston but hard to get around beyond that.

Also ask if you need suggestions of how to find rentals, or anything else. Hope this helped!

ETA: So you wouldn't be confused I wanted to clarify what a MA "dry" town is. Although it varies per town, most allow liquor as long as there is food served in the establishment. So you are missing liquor stores and bars, which are always somewhere very close, and the bars in those restaurants often are quite lively. And you can almost always get a nice wine with dinner.

Newton (also one of the safest towns in America), Westwood, Weston, Brookline, Dover

First of all, the wealthiest of Boston's suburbs (such as Weston, Lincoln, Dover, Harvard, Manchester by the Sea,and some others) for the most part do not allow "small rental places." And they do not allow "great restaurants" (most of them are dry). However, most do have commuter rail lines (not Dover).

For what you are looking for you will have to settle for a suburb that is merely highly affluent, but not among the wealthiest.

Brian's suggestion of Newton will suffice, although if your idea of "suburban" means large lots Newton for the most part will not suit. The next towns over to the west of Needham and Wellesley should also be considered, although each's "great restaurants" can be counted on one hand. Likewise Winchester, Andover, Georgetown (no rail to Georgetown), Scituate and Hingham. But, again, in all of these "small place rentals" practically do not exist (except for elderly housing).

e's suggestion of Melrose, Reading and Stoneham would be a good one except these suburbs are merely upper middle class (again with mostly smaller suburban lots of a half acre or so) which you might feel beneath you.

Also bear in mind that there are very affluent sections in what are otherwise middle class or even lower middle class suburbs that do have excellent commuter transportation and lots of great restaurants. Metro Boston really does not have any areas of generally lower class suburban areas of bungalows with few gastonomic choices as exist around most large American cities.

Well my friend, I hope you have a lot of money. I'm sure a lot of my fellow Boston-area posters would agree with me that Boston is expensive, regardless of neighborhood or suburb and the rents are only getting (like Jackie Wilson sang) higher and higher.

I'm glad to see everyone wrote what first sprang to my mind, which is Newton. Considered the safest place in the country, this predominantly Jewish "Garden City" is just enough to answer your question of being an affluent suburb. But I must say that it will really emphasize the "suburb feel" of your question. Newton is made up of 13 villages, a lot of them housing the same essentials like supermarkets and restaurants. I love Newton but ultimately feel like the center of it is scattered throughout the rest of these villages instead of being brought into one place. If you're looking to pay highly, you'll get it in Newton and I can assure you, it will certainly go past $1,000 a month.

Other places would be:

A town on the outskirts of Boston, this also predominantly Jewish neighborhood is quite a nice area with it's own feel and culture. With the T train system running through it, Brookline's real center is Coolidge Corner, a nice little slice of heaven that has an independent movie theater, several mom and pop stores, and the presence of several chain stores. Parking is very rough for visitors and weekends can be murder for those trying to find a simple spot to park. I've got a cousin and her bf who are paying $2300 a month for their two bedroom apartment, which is blocks away from Coolidge Corner. You can certainly get your fill of great restaurants, commuting and the suburban feel.

Chestnut Hill
Having no official municipal recognition, Chestnut Hill is dictated by parts of Brookline, Newton and Boston. The home of Boston College, this is a six mile village that wears it's history through the houses and urban area. Also housed in Chestnut Hill are three expensive shopping malls known as the Atrium, the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center and the Mall at Chestnut Hill.

Here's where it gets tricky. Boston is expensive and it's only getting more and more expensive. But some places to check out for it's neighborhoods would be Brighton, a working class neighborhood that has also attracted the attention of young professionals. It's quiet enough to live around and away from the city. Allston is ultimately a melting pot of activity, people and places and is right next to Brookline. Regardless of the suburban feel, these might be your safest bets and trust me, a lot of the areas both in and around Boston will be pricey.

Neighboring Boston, this historical city has a lot to offer and might embody what you want. A mix of blue collar and white collar professionals, Quincy is home to a variety of restaurants, bars and shops amongst others.

If I can recommend a couple sites, I'd check out Boston's Craig's List at:

I think this has a real authenticity for Boston life in terms of what to find for apartments and things around town in an unfiltered viewpoint, which is both a good and bad thing.

This is a fantastic site that will provide you with a more broadened view of what city life is like in Boston.

This is a local TV show about restaurants and food in New England. If you want to find out about what restaurants to look for and what places to check out, this is the site I can seriously recommend.

melrose is not too suburby for the most part, but its near some train stations...Stoneham is very suburby feeling, and reading also...

Boston, Massachusetts is known for an economy that thrives on research, education, health care, technology, social character, and it is one of the oldest and wealthiest cities in the United States. The city was founded in 1630 and was dubbed the ?city on the hill,? along with many other nicknames throughout the years.

Cambridge's Riverside neighborhood is going upscale and its combination of convenient location and rich, quirky architecture are drawing affluent young professionals, who cite Riverside's offbeat funkiness as one of the chief draws.

Dorchester, East Boston, Somerville, and the Fenway may lack Newbury Street's boutiques, but they share one trait with the Back Bay: homes selling for $1 million or more.

Why is wealthy an issue? You can live with the rest of us- we promise to be nice and we have good food.

There are parts of pretty much any suburb in Boston that qualify as 'affluent'...I would suggest Marina Bay in Quincy,parts of Cambridge,Needham,Westwood,and some of Walpole,basically all of the ones mentioned above.Also,if you want to live in a wealthy part of Boston,you had better be extremely wealthy...Real estate is through the roof in MA right now.

Killer Chick
You are looking for Newton, Brookline and Boston (Back Bay Copley area) - These are the closest to the city.

If you are looking for places in surburban areas, go to Westwood, Cape Cod, and some of the other towns near the water.

Many of Boston's wealthy suburbs will not have rental places, but perhaps you will find something. Wealthy cities would include Newton or Westwood. Both have train lines into the city. But maybe if you want something packed with restaurants and little shops you could get something in a middle class area, like Arlington, Belmont, Lexington or Stoneham. They are all very close to the city but have more things to do, versus just large homes. Boston has lots of different areas though with lots of options.

Carlisle, Concord, and Lexington are the schmanciest ones in the Middlesex County area.

Tons of history, lots of fancy shops and restaurants and unbelivably well-to-do citizens for the most part. They are also fairly well located for commuting to town as well.

Taken by a Texan
Weston, Wellesley, Concord, Back Bay, parts of Brookline

(that first two are the nicest though - and have the most suburb feel)!

Westwood is VERY affluent, but you won't find many apartments there-just a bunch of mansions and BMWs.

I would go to Marina Bay. It's in Quincy. It has a bajillion apartments, close to the city, plenty of restaurants and its right on the Ocean! But your looking at yet again, a very hefty price tag for there and I don't know how much of a "suburban" feel your going to get there.

Belmont is nice and pretty wealthy...
Brookline is a great wealthy place, as well as Newton, and Concord. Concord is very very very nice.

socialite ?
I used to live in Walpole, MA and it's gorgeous!

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